Take a big chopping board as it’s your entire work surface.
Plastic bags are a must for marinating meat in. Space saving, effective (you can really rub the marinade in), and no need to wash up.
Measure out things you might need before as you won’t be able to on site, and even premix some things – (eg mix up the dry ingredients for pancakes before you go, add milk and eggs there, for a fab, kid friendly breakfast).
Partially pre-prepare a first night meal. It must be quick to prepare as you’ll be bogged down pitching the tent: prepare the side dish at home in advance (eg potato salad), light the barbeque while you’re putting the tent up (disposables are quite good for the first night) and barbecue something (eg some spiced up chicken wings) to transport you from the stress of the journey and the set up, to the zen of camping.
A medium-big saucepan and a big frying pan (ideally a deepish one) with a single multi-lid for both. You don’t have to have small plastic everything when camping with a family – If you’re like us, you’re not trying to squeeze it into a rucksack and hopefully you’ve got the use of a car!
Cook things that children can help prepare – eg foil food and skewers.
Take some food/drink frozen in your cool box and let it slowly defrost while keeping the rest of your cool box chilled. Take some freezer blocks too – most campsites have a freezer where you can refreeze them.
Take some storecupboard ingredients – they don’t take up much room.
Squeeze 5 lemons and crush 5 garlic cloves and combine in a bottle. A great marinade base for almost anything.
We think that camping is the perfect opportunity to have some fun while cooking, and get the children involved. It’s also the one time, they may be prepared to try something different.